Stump Blog

The Stump: The Whip by Murphy Daley

Stump is a blogging project of Claremont Presbyterian Church.

For some people nothing would happen without the last minute. The beating of the clock whips us into taking the action we know we want to take and getting that thing DONE.

During the holidays it seems like the last minute is always right now. I hate the last minute, and there are times when I cannot avoid suffering under the last minute’s cruel whip.

Is that melodramatic? There is real suffering in the world, I know. This time of year charity groups solicit my donations to help the suffering around the world. As I rush from the cramped minute to the next overcrowded hour I am annoyed and then guilty about the suffering faces peering at me from pamphlets.

I am so blessed. Why do I feel like a victim? No one should be a victim. If I could, I would wave a magic want and make all victimhood disappear from the world.

I’ve heard victimhood describes as part of a triangle. If I see myself as a victim, then I long for a rescuer to save me from the one persecuting me. You see? Three roles: victim-persecutor-rescuer. There is a place for everyone. I don’t want to be a victim, and I certainly don’t want to persecute anyone. I guess that means it’s my job to rescue people!

Until I become the victim on the people who become co-dependent on me to rescue them. So then I switch places and become a victim. And then I might get mad and take it out on the person I was rescuing and start persecuting.

It’s a painful cycle. I am tired of it.

There is real suffering in the world. Our archetypical bad guys, the Nazis, really did have the concentration camps. Victor Frankl survived the holocaust and wrote about how it changed him. In his book Man’s Search for Meaning he said this:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Can I declare myself no longer a victim? Frankl seemed to find a way to do just that in circumstances far more difficult than mine. Can I have compassion on those I have previously seen as persecutors? Can I support people in rescuing themselves, and forgo the glory of being a rescuer?

Maybe I can imagine such a thing. I can start with myself, not whipping myself into a cranky frenzy during this holiday season.

Peace on Earth begins with each one of us.

Murphy Daley is cross posting today’s piece on her website You can sign up to receive the Weekly Wonder in your inbox by Clicking Here.


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